Staff Meeting tonight had us extending the staff focus of deliberate planning into effective lesson design. We have been emphasising planning and reporting by achievement standards within the Australian Curriculum; Starting with these standards and working backwards towards individual learning experiences.
A ‘golden pickup’ I have developed is the idea of giving students a learning intention before every lesson. This has helped me focus my teaching to align with all our careful planning, as well as given the students an increased sense of context and purpose for their learning.
Tonight Rebecca and Jade took us through a sharing session based on PD they had attended titled “Effective Lesson Design in English & Maths”. Now this presentation is not mine to share but my big takeaways are listed below. And these are in note form, based on the notes I took during the session – I think this is an authentic way to share my ideas at this stage. When they evolve into something new of my own I will share accordingly but for now, I’ll keep them in the form of inspiration from another:
- Learning intentions must be explicitly clear for all students in the room. Intentions must be visible.
- Learning intentions are not descriptions of an activity. They are directly linked to achievement standards.
- There should be no secrets in the learning process –> this means success criteria must also be clear and explicit.
- Success criteria tell kids “You can succeed at this and this is how you do it”. What does it look like to achieve the learning intention?
- Along with WALT statements (We Are Learning To) and WILF statements (What I’m Looking For) you also need to address TIB (This Is Because) which links WALT and WILF to the students personal contexts.
- To help with students engaging with WALT and WILF statements, these can be present on task sheets and blank work sheets. That way teachers can easily indicate how students have performed against them.
- Students should be able to state learning intentions and success criteria. This is easier if displayed as above.
- Don’t use the term differentiate. Say ‘make it accessible’.
There was also some discussion about the notion of Prime Time in student engagement levels through the course of a lesson. It peaks in the first ten minutes before hitting downtime after 20 and then a second, lower, peak at the half hour mark.
This led to some great staff discussion about all of the above. Most year levels shared some insights from the session and related it to what they were doing in their classes. In Y5 we shared our ‘Position’ class interventions, which I’ll detail once report season is over!